31 October 2014

Summer's End

October 2014 has been very mild in south-east England and the bees have been making the best of the sunshine to bring home stores of nectar and pollen from the ivy and himalayan balsam..

Bees at the end of the Summer

16 October 2014

There's a mouse!

Miss Mouse paid a visit to our compost bin.

The Wood Mouse is one of the UK's most common mammals.  I think she was after the sweet chestnuts that had been swept up from the lawn.
Mouse is welcome to forage in the compost bin, she is not a nuisance there as she would be inside one of my beehives. Mice are secretive little creatures, and they need to be because they are important food for owls, foxes and other wild creatures. Predation from domestic cats is a problem for them too.

More information :

8 October 2014

Grass snake - Natrix natrix

Whatever next? Here is a little snake - a juvenile grass snake, and it's in my bee skep!

My daughter spotted this grass snake in our "Bees and Honey" display tent during the recent Heritage Open Day. It was about 20cms long and could move surprisingly fast. Being concerned the snake might get trampled we gently shooed it into the skep and moved it out of harm's way.

Note: A "skep" is a basket used for catching swarms of bees.

More Information at:
The Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group